by Heather Clark, Christian News Network
The Democratic governor of Virginia has vetoed a religious freedom bill which would have prohibited the government from punishing those who believe in biblical marriage and conduct their public lives in accordance with that conviction.
“Although couched as a ‘religious freedom’ bill, this legislation is nothing more than an attempt to stigmatize,” Governor Terry McAuliffe asserted in a statement in rejecting S.B. 2314 and H.B. 2025.
“No person shall be required to participate in the solemnization of any marriage, or subject to any penalty by the Commonwealth, or its political subdivisions or representatives or agents, notwithstanding any other provision of law, solely on account of such person’s belief, speech, or action in accordance with a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman,” the vetoed legislation read.
McAuliffe remarked that the federal and state Constitutions provide adequate protections, and that “any additional protections … that prefers one religious viewpoint — that marriage can only validly exist between a man and a woman — over all other viewpoints … is not only unconstitutional, it equates to discrimination under the guise of religious freedom.”
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